Re: Inventing new words?

Subject: Re: Inventing new words?
From: Chuck Melikian <chuckm -at- MDHOST -dot- CSE -dot- TEK -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 7 May 1996 13:24:32 -0700

With respect to whether prepend is a word or not, it is a word.
But, it is jargon. It is, I think, a fair example of a language
growing and adapting. While append means to attach or affix (see
Webster's 10th Collegiate), in the realm of programming, append
means to insert additional data at the end of a file. The meaning of
append in programming is far more restricted than in general use.
(Files, in general, do not have a top, bottom or side to which
data can be attached. :-) )

Sometimes you might need to insert new data at the beginning of
a file, thus, prepend. Was it the best possible term that could
have been coined? Maybe not. After all, it was probably coined
by a computer scientist or mathmatician, not an English professor.
I've never seen prepend used in any context other than programming.
Within the realm of programming, it makes perfect sense. It serves
a useful purpose within a narrowly defined field. If you are not
writing about programming, you probably have no reason to use prepend.
If your audience is programmers, then they will know what you mean.

Chuck Melikian

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